Ever had the urge to spin out the old-school board game with your friends & family, but everyone else seems to be occupied with their own chores? With the advent of technology, you can literally pull a board game out of your pocket!
Board game apps are incredibly convenient and are perfect to play in any setting; whether it’s on the bus, during a meal or even while watching a boring movie!
Here are the best 5 board game apps that we’ve had the opportunity to try out!
Warhammer Quest is the app version of the board game with its namesake, compressed into a smartphone. The game takes place in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, transporting players into a cooperative game of heroic dungeon adventures where magic and dragons come alive.
This game is meant for 1-4 players, and is truly a feast for the eyes coming from the physical equivalent. Every little detail from the original board game has been given a visual overhaul, and there’s enough bling and flair here to satisfy even the most demanding Apple fan.
Rather than pitting players against each other, players have to work together to overcome Orcs, Minotaurs, decayed tunnels and deadly pit traps. Much like in real life, the end goal here is to assemble the greatest fortune. If you’re a fan of the original, you’ll be sure to have a blast with the pocket version.
At first glance, Talisman might come across to most players as a classic “roll and move” game, a la Monopoly. However beneath the apparently drab exterior lies a whimsical game full of charm and mystique. The game takes place in a fairy tale world, not so different from Harry Potter’s – but instead of a kindly bearded giant on a flying motorcycle, you get welcomed by murderous witches trying to turn you into a frog.
The game returns to its board game roots by emphasizing the roll of the die over skill. This might be frustrating to experienced players, but it also means that new players aren’t immediately handicapped. Veterans of the game however will be rewarded with a bath of nostalgia, as the game painstakingly recreates every aspect of the original down to the nitty gritty. No words can describe seeing your favorite characters come to life as they dance across the screen.
The on-screen version of Splendor faithfully recreates the original experience, where you take on the role of a jewel merchant of Renaissance and try to become the wealthiest merchant in the land. Splendor is at its core a chip-collecting/card-development game, where players gather resources and strategize how they play their cards to victory without any moving pieces on a board.
Splendor plays like most resource management board games. You collect gems and use them to buy cards. Cards represent buildings and give you gems; so you’ll have to find a balance between collecting enough gems vs buildings compared to your opponents. There’s a wild card mechanic where you can reserve a desired building that’s up for grabs, but it costs a turn.
There are also single player challenge missions which allow you to spice things up with different strategies. Splendor is at its heart a simple and elegant board game that will keep you coming back for more.
Lords of Waterdeep gives you the first impression that a lot of thought has gone into the game. The developer of its mobile version, Playdek, has also earned a reputation for giving its apps the same amount of attention and care as the board game version. Putting the two together made me excited to give the app a shot.
The game places you in a secret society of masked Lords, where players act as nobles recruiting adventurers from the shadows to complete quests on their behalf. At the start of the game, players choose from an array of Lords, and their choice remains hidden to the other players. This is important because each Lord has their own strengths and weaknesses relative to the environment.
Once you’ve selected a Lord, players are tasked with dispatching agents to a location, whereupon they reap the rewards of occupying that location. One interesting mechanic of the game is that each location acts as a double-edged sword; it confers the most benefit to the owner, but it also gives a smaller benefit to each of your opponents, which differs between Lords. Hence, keeping your identity secret from your opponents (and vice versa) becomes instrumental to attaining victory; the dog-and-cat nature of the game can sometimes resemble Cluedo.
Lords of Waterdeep masterfully captures the going-abouts of the underworld, and the gameplay is littered with suspense every step of the way. Getting this app for those long hours on the commute is a no-brainer.
This board game app has apparently won such critical acclaim that its fans are supporting a Kickstarter for a full-scale video game. Sentinels of the Multiverse is best described as an Avengers-style cooperative game, where players take on the role of ‘sentinels’ working together to take down an uber-boss like Ultron.
Game reviews are solid, with most praising the attention to detail and the excitement that hangs in the atmosphere when a particularly difficult boss comes up. The game does a good job of thrusting you deep into the comic book world, and the difficulty gradient is challenging while remaining fun. The game also does cooperative play really well, with different ‘sentinels’ playing specific roles to mutually take down the bad guy.
Criticisms have mostly revolved around the game devolving into a math endeavor, but the execution is solid. If my life depended on recommending a good board game app, this one would come up every time.